Committing to comprehensive sexuality education for young people in Eastern and Southern Africa

Elizabeth Bruce


The Ministerial Commitment on Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Sexual and Reproductive Health Services for Adolescents and Young People in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA), or the ESA Commitment, was affirmed December 7, 2013, by 21 countries located across this region during the 17th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa. The ESA Commitment speaks to the numerous practices and challenges of school age populations stemming from interplay among education, health, and contextual issues varying by country. Analysis of this policy is approached using methodology drawn from Bartlett and Vavrus (2014, 2017) and using a lens of policy borrowing, particularly focused on incorporating agency, process, impact, and timing (Steiner-Khamsi, 2000, 2010). This analysis seeks to understand the ESA Commitment and national curriculum subsequently implemented in Zambia by situating these actions among broader international, regional, and national discourse in the area of sexual and reproductive health and education for young people between 1994 and 2016. Through analysis considering its effectiveness in terms of implementation, scalability, and sustainability, its ability to enable progress towards improving the lives of young people, especially through increased knowledge of HIV/AIDS prevention, is examined and recommendations are presented.


Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS); Children; Adolescents; Sex Education; Policy Analysis; Case Studies

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Copyright (c) 2019 Elizabeth Bruce


Contact EPAA//AAPE at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College